Written by Pamela Vireday
Thursday, 26 June 2008 12:41
Page 2 of 2
Indeed, although pubic pain often does go away after pregnancy, many women find that it sticks around afterward, usually diminished but still present. If treatment to resolve any underlying causes is not done, long-term pain usually sticks around. Anecdotally, this often seems to be associated with long-term low back pain or reduced flexibility in the hips. Even worse, if the mother is mishandled during the birth, the pubic symphysis can separate even more or be permanently damaged. This is called Diastasis Symphysis Pubis.
Although the best idea may be to resolve chronic SPD pain through realigning the pelvis girdle and soft tissues, most women have some residual pubic and low back discomfort sticking around during pregnancy and the early postpartum weeks because of hormones. Therefore, tips for coping with pubic pain tend to be a focus of many SPD websites. Many of the suggestions include:
- Use a pillow between your legs when sleeping; body pillows are a great investment!
- Use a pillow under your 'bump' (pregnancy tummy) when sleeping
- Keep your legs and hips as parallel/symmetrical as possible when moving or turning in bed
- Some women also find it helpful to have their partners stabilize their hips and hold them 'together' when rolling over in bed or otherwise adjusting position
- Some women report a waterbed mattress to be helpful
- Swimming may help relieve pressure on the joint
- Deep water aerobics or deep water running may be helpful as well
- Keep your legs close together and move symmetrically
- When standing, stand symmetrically, with your weight evenly distributed through both legs
- Sit down to get dressed, especially when putting on underwear or pants
- Avoid 'straddle' movements
- Swing your legs together as a unit when getting in and out of cars; use plastics or something smooth and slippery (like a garbage bag) on the car seat to help you enter car backwards and then turn your legs as a unit
- An ice pack may feel soothing and help reduce inflammation in the pubic area
- Move slowly and without sudden movements
- If sex is uncomfortable for you, use lots of pillows under your knees, or try other positions
- If bending over to pick up objects is difficult, there are devices available that can help with this
- Some women report that pelvic binders/maternity support belts are helpful for pelvic pain; brands in the U.S. include Prenatal Cradle or BabyHugger or the Reenie Belt. However, if the pelvic bones are really misaligned, some women report more pain with these. Listen to your body on whether to use these
About the Author:
Pamela Vireday CCE, BMEd is a size acceptance activist, birth activist, and freelance writer. She is the author of the Plus-Size Pregnancy Website, and the mother of four children.